As the temperatures start to drop, more people are starting to turn on the furnace for the first time this year. But if you're one of those people who has turned on your furnace only to find that it's not working properly, you may begin to wonder what the problem is. Will a simple furnace repair job do the trick, or do you need a whole new furnace installation?
Below are some ideas about why your furnace may not be turning on properly. Investigate them in order, and then call a furnace repair company if you need any further assistance.
No Power to the Unit
Most homes run on either gas or electric, and even if their home is mostly electric-based, they may still use gas to light their HVAC system. For that reason, you need to check your home's energy source and make sure that is connected to your furnace, or else the unit won't turn on at all. Be careful with this process since dealing with natural gas requires certain permits and licenses, but reattaching a gas or electricity connection requires a good deal of care to prevent injury. Alternatively, you should also check to make sure that the breaker to your unit isn't tripped from a recent power surge. If so, flip it back on to restore power, but if it continues to trip, call an HVAC technician to investigate the issue.
It may sound simplistic, but it's surprising how many people call up an HVAC company to perform heating repair on a furnace that would be working perfectly if the thermostat were operational. Turn the unit on to see if it works; if it doesn't, try to turn on the air conditioner. If neither the furnace nor the air conditioner works, that is most likely a problem with your thermostat. Get it replaced or have a technician look at it.
Pilot Light Is Out
Older furnaces use a pilot light to light their system instantaneously. This tiny blue flame stays on all the time so that when natural gas is delivered to it, it heats up the air around it and sends it immediately through the ductwork. It can go out because of a broken power source, or even a crack in the heat exchanger nearby allowing air to rush in. Either way, this is a job that requires a professional, especially since if there is a crack near the flame, it will need to be repaired as well.